From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos with agency report
No fewer than eighteen residents of Potiskum town in Potiskum local government area of Yobe state were allegedly shot to death yesterday by soldiers of the Nigerian military who had been stationed in the area to restore peace.
A resident who spoke on the Hausa Service of the BBC, monitored in Jos ,claimed that those killed were innocent residents of Potiskum, among who, he said, were students, tailors and business people.
According to the resident, who was also initially arrested together with the deceased but later released, all the victims were not Boko Haram insurgents and innocent of the allegation claimed by the soldiers, who suspected them to be Boko Haram members, adding that the corpse of victims were kept at Potiskum Specialist Hospital.
He said, “Soldiers in Potiskum had laid siege in some quarters of the town since Wednesday in their attempt to arrest insurgents whom they suspected to have arrived Potiskum recently.
“In the process of searching members of Boko Haram, they started entering house to house and bringing innocent people whom they suspected were members of the sect and killed instantly without proper investigation.
“I was among those that were apprehended at the beginning, but luckily for me, I was released. This act is unfair and uncalled for because among the victims were tailors, students and business men ” , he added.
The BBC reported that all effort to reach security authority in the area proved abortive.
Army releases 42 Boko Haram suspects in Borno (Lead)
From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
Authorities of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri yesterday released 42 persons, who were among several detainees being held for allegedly belonging to the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
The division said the detainees, comprising Nigerians and foreign nationals were arrested differently and at separate locations over suspicion of having link with the militant sect.
Spokesman of the division, Col. Sani Usman, who handed over the affected persons to Governor Kashim Shettima at the Government House in Maiduguri, declared that they have no any case to answer in connection with insurgency.
“The Nigerian Army has for some time now been fighting terrorism in the country. During this period, some suspected terrorists were arrested and detained. However, after being investigated, 42 of them, which included three foreigners, who were found innocent, are now freed.
He said that the three foreigners included a Burkinabe, a Cameroonian and a Chadian national, adding that the division had provided a token of N100, 000 to each
of the 39 Nigerians to enable them return home.
He commended the state government and the residents for their supports in the fight against terrorism.
Responding, Governor Shettima thanked the division for the release of the suspects.
He promised to assist in repatriating the three foreigners to their countries.
Shettima also gave unspecified cash donations to the suspects even as he directed the state Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Yakubu to employ some of them as tailors in the state service.
He also promised to assist those who were students to complete their studies.